We’re still a long way from real news about Android 14 from Google, but the tweaks and updates are still coming for Android 13 – and one that’s apparently in the pipeline will prevent your phone’s screen from blinding you in the dark.
As noted by Mishal Rahman (opens in new tab) (via Phandroid (opens in new tab)), the code for the next Android update appears to include a feature that detects the ambient light conditions around a smartphone even when the screen is off.
So the next time you lock your phone, go somewhere much darker, and then unlock it again, you won’t be blinded by the previous brightness setting. The phone recognizes that it’s now in a dark environment and adjusts the brightness accordingly, assuming of course you’ve set the brightness to automatically adjust itself.
“Use a brightness sensor to determine the initial brightness of the screen” Test: use the device in a bright room, turn off the screen, go to a dark room, turn on the screen, check that the screen does not start too bright. https://t.co/r59GQDBWbMMarch 23, 2023
If you have a Pixel phone from Google, you’ll find screen brightness options in the Display section of Settings, although this feature isn’t enabled for now and indeed is only in the Android 13 QPR2 beta which isn’t widely available yet.
That QPR stands for Quarterly Platform Release, so the additional option could appear as part of an Android 13 update in the coming months. Alternatively, Google’s software development team could decide to stick with Android 14, which will be officially unveiled at Google IO 2023 in May.
Let’s hope it does arrive at some point, as it’s a handy tweak – as you’ll know if you’ve ever locked your phone in a bright environment (say, out in the sun) and then unlocked it in a darker environment . environment (such as a theatre).
Analysis: The ever-changing mobile operating systems
We are now well acquainted with the idea that Apple, Google, Samsung and other phone manufacturers regularly release updates for their mobile operating systems. These updates can add features, squash bugs and much more.
The example we have above shows how tweaks can be useful, even if they are minor. This fixes a very real annoyance that many people will encounter on a regular basis, and it means Android will be better to use.
It also shows the benefit of mobile OS updates appearing throughout the year, rather than in one big chunk on a particular date. When it comes to iPhones, we are now on iOS 16.3 and many improvements have been made since iOS 16 launched in September 2022.
If the brightness feature does indeed make it to the next Android update, it’s hard to predict exactly when your phone will get it. A lot depends on your phone’s manufacturer, and Google’s own Pixel handsets will be first in line, as usual.